HOW DO I BUILD A STRONG SUSTAINABLE SALES PIPELINE?
An optimum business model is to have visibility of earnings, recurring revenues, long term contracts and a healthy pipeline. If only business was always that easy!
There are many Sales CRM systems that can automate your contact strategy but managing, building and sustaining a sales pipeline is very much like running any IT project. The technology can do the job it is themanagement that counts. Before you start you need to get an understanding about a few things. Firstly, how long is the Sales Cycle and is it different by Channel? Purely as an example leads followed up by the Sales Team might be much larger and can often take say 6-9 months to close whereas enquiries from the web might be smaller and may take 3 months. Oddly not many people track this and then – we all wonder why sales targets are missed!
Then think very carefully about how your sales cycle is broken down – as every company and industry is different. This is key. What is meant by your sales cycle is of course the buying stages that your targets have to go through to make a purchase. Let’s say there is a purchasing committee then that would be one stage. Let’s say they have to make site visits then that could be another. Perhaps everything gets signed off by the Purchasing Department or by the MD or whoever but “Sign Off” would then be another stage. So many systems work the other way round (i.e. how we, the seller would like them to work) and once again – we all wonder why sales targets are missed!
So, no more wondering about why sales targets are missed!